One of the UK's finest directors, Clio Barnard, returns this year with Ali & Ava. Following her probing and emotional critiques of British working life in The Arbor, The Selfish Giant and Dark River, Barnard now presents a moving story of interracial romance, fronted by two sublime performances.
Four Lions' Adeel Akhtar and Ammonite's Claire Rushbrook play the eponymous Ali and Ava. The movie is set in present-day Bradford where the ostensibly settled Ali, a British-Asian man and aspiring DJ, finds himself growing distant from his wife Runa (In the Earth's Ellora Torchia). He then meets and develops a bond with the widowed classroom assistant Ava, and a relationship soon develops.
As ever, Barnard derives inspiration from social realist icons such as director Ken Loach, but hones her own style that stares unblinkingly into the complexities of modern relationships and secular divisions. Check out the trailer below.
The Guardian's Peter Bradshaw describes the movie as "an understated triumph", adding: "Barnard’s film is an essay in acceptance and love."
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